Review: Flame in the Dark by Faith Hunter

Reviewed by Jen

There’s a lot happening in this third installment of Faith Hunter’s Soulwood series, so as with all of Hunter’s books, you’d better get comfortable and pay attention or you might miss something! Here, Nell is transitioning even deeper into her power at the same time she is making some decisions about her future that have been a long time coming. Specifically, she’s coming to grips with the place of her family and of the church in her life while considering whether she’s willing to open the door to love. (<– By the way, I vote yes.)

Nell is still a probationary officer with PsyLed, but she has come a long way. She knows her weapons and procedures, but more importantly, she understands people. One of her greatest gifts is in making connections; she understands what motivates people and why they behave the way they do–and beyond her ability to commune with the earth, it’s one of the biggest ways she helps her team.

Their new case centers on a hit-man with some possibly high profile targets. Nell’s team first has to figure out whether the killer is after a politically connected human family, a master vampire, or someone they hadn’t considered. They’ve got to figure out if the bad guy is some kind of supernatural and what’s driving him to kill. It’s a convoluted investigation, especially since the perpetrator keeps striking over and over again.

There’s a lot of action and the mystery is interesting, but for me, it was Nell’s personal journey that carried the book. She is becoming not just someone different, but something different as well. The way she’s used the earth (and continues to do so) is changing her physiology. She’s sprouting leaves and bark and stuff; she’s growing a sort of bloodlust. Even more significant, though, she is figuring out who she is as a woman and what kind of treatment she deserves. She’s experimenting with city life: Krispy Kreme and coffee shops. And yet, she’s looking for balance with the family she left behind.

Then there’s Occam. I love this guy and there is so much of his backstory that is still a mystery, but at the same time we know enough to empathize with him and root for him to end up with Nell. It’s hard for her. God knows, she’s got such a screwed up history, I wouldn’t blame her if she never wanted to even look at a man again, but I know they could be so good together. Then things happen. I won’t spoil you, but I will say this was written like it could have ended the series and if this were really it, I would be so frustrated right now. Thankfully, Hunter says she is contracted for at least two more books, so I will try to be patient until I can see where she will take us.

Overall, while it was a little complicated and somewhat uneven at times, it was a good book. I just wish we would have had one more scene to pay off on one particular promise that never quite delivered.

Rating: B/B+

*ARC provided by publisher

Click to purchase: Amazon

Flame in the Dark
by Faith Hunter
Release Date: December 5, 2017
Publisher: Ace



  1. I so hope the next book starts exactly where this book ends, or I will be very unhappy! A novella would work also! 😉

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